Hello to all,
Much has happened since my last posting...
I spent, by choice, the entire month of August at work in Texas, which was in fact very good for me. The time did pass relatively quickly, although during the quiet of the night times I was left with some uneasy sleep.
I returned to home as was planned for the Labor Day Holiday weekend. This was followed on Tuesday morning with the necessary pre-op exams at West Side Regional Medical Center in Plantation, Fla. I must say that the entire staff at the Cardiac Care ICU was extremely helpful in making me feel at ease. By seeing in advance where my immediate care will be provided, as well as meeting some of the staff and being able to put names to faces in advance also gives me some comfort.
I also unexpectedly met my surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Hoffberger, in the hallway on my way to have my blood typed. While he did not immediately recognize me, when I "re-introduced myself" he was very cordial, telling me he was in process with another patient and getting in some "practice time" in advance of seeing me this coming Monday AM. I "joked" with him (not really, actually) about him bringing his "A" game with him, and he assured me that he would!!
So I await my Monday, 09 September morning reporting time at 5:00 AM. The procedure is scheduled for 7:30, and expected to last about 4 hours or so. While I feel relatively calm about it all right now, I am not so sure that will remain come Monday morning. But my goal is and has been all along to accept this challenge as another of life's obstacles that must be taken head on. I expect nothing less from myself!!
It has been a while since I have posted...not so much has happened for most of this time. My work and travel schedule has remained normal, all the while arrangements were being made for the advance testing necessary prior to a scheduled planning meeting with my prospective surgeon.
I underwent a TEE and cardiac cath test on Friday past, and the original diagnosis was confirmed. I will need an Aortic Valve Replacement. As well, it was identified that there are issues with the Mitral valve that will require at least its repair.
As it stands now, my surgical journey is planned to begin on Monday, 9 September.
The fact that both valves will need to be addressed unfortunately will not allow me to be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure. However a very positive note was my discussion with Dr. Jonathan Hoffberger, who will be the man with whom I am entrusting my future care. He took as much time to explain the process to me as I needed, for me to be able to gain a better understanding of what to expect. I felt a comfort zone with his approach to me that I was hoping for.
I have returned to work in Texas, and will spend August here. After Labor Day, the preliminary testing prior to surgery will be coordinated before my scheduled date with the next phase of my life!!
I initially found it a bit difficult to join this patient community, and while I have subscribed to Adam's Blog / Newsletter and have purchased his book, only now am I beginning to really draw upon the experiences of others. I guess this may be admitting the obvious that the denial process has been in full force for me.
I had been advised that the necessity of an aortic valve replacement would become my reality since early in 2012. My cardiologist, at that time, told me that at some point the periodic testing would lead to the determination that this surgery should be considered "sooner rather than later." For me though, even with that knowledge in advance, this most recent discussion was not only unexpected but seemed a bit surreal. So many thoughts, not very easy to focus, nor relax or sleep very deeply.
My timeline for the surgery appears to be taking shape to occur in mid - August. I will be meeting the prospective surgeon, thru recommendation from my cardiologist, early in July. I am beginning to develop my questions list for that initial examination.
I have begun the process of planning in advance, another difficult step for me. Finalizing a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will and a Power of Attorney is part of that agenda, long overdue. Also, notification to key people at work in advance of my pending absence was a necessary step that happened this past week.
Before I am finished, I am certain that my "to do" list will grow significantly.